Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Blue Skies” by L. Martin

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A few entries ago, I reviewed the single “She’s Gonna Leave You” from beloved Chicago indie-rock band, The Walters. In that same review, I mentioned their announcement from earlier this year that the band will be taking a hiatus so the members can work on solo albums instead. Well, it’s happening. This past month, The Walters’ former front man, Luke Martin Olson, released his very first solo single, “Blue Skies,” under the name L. Martin.

Being a fan of The Walters since their formation in 2014, I honestly couldn’t have been more upset when I heard the news of their split. However, Olson has given fans something to be very excited about in this new single. It’s hard not to compare the single to his band’s previous work, and I think that “Blue Skies” stands up there with some of their smoothest songs that manage to make me sink into the floor.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 11/28/17

We’ve arrived in the wasteland that is the dry period of late-year music releases (or, lack thereof). There’s absolutely nothing that came out this past Friday that caught my ear, so I’ve gone to looking back for inspiration on my half of the Jukebox this week.

Jake’s done his best keeping his half of the playlist current, but the first ten tracks of the proceedings are 80s English throwbacks, spurred by my decision to spin The Cure’s The Head on the Door the other day. What a wonderful album that is.

And alongside a track from that Cure record, we also have tracks from Duran Duran, Wet, Maroon 5, and Elvis Costello & The Attractions.

— Michael Lane,  Blog Editor

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Basement Dwelling: The Top 30 Albums of 2017 – Honorable Mentions

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We’ve finally arrived at the end of the year; a year in which every lone week felt like it’s own self-contained 365 days. If there was any ray of light in a year filled with nuclear tension, lies, and the loss of respect for many in the entertainment community, it was the great art that 2017 has brought us — particularly in music. This Thanksgiving weekend, before we get to the legitimate two course meal of my 30 album year-end list (albums 30-16 go up next Friday, and 15-1 the week after), I’m serving this hors d’oeuvre, and talking about some of my favorite albums of the year… that unfortunately didn’t make my year-end list for 2017.

Doing this accomplishes a couple things:
1. It gives me an excuse to talk about my favorite records of the year a little earlier.
2. It makes my year-end list shorter than it has to be.
3. It generates hype for what will actually make the final 30.
4. You can get mad at me early for not having your favorite albums in my definitive list.

Hope you all have a good weekend spending time and appreciating the ones you love, and, of course, spinning these albums.

Honorable Mentions:

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 11/21/17

Some of my favorite weeks on the Jet Fuel Jukebox are when there’s crossover between the 10 choices that Jake and I make for the playlist. This week, it’s an album entitled Blue Lips, which is the third full-length release from Swedish pop star, Tove Lo. Each of us has gone ahead and inserted into our halves of the playlist a favorite from the new album, which saw its long-awaited release this past Friday.

Alongside this, I have another major highlight with the Jukebox’s closer this week, “Smoking Section,” from St. Vincent’s latest album release, MASSEDUCTION. This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of seeing her live performance at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. I’ve loved Annie Clark for years, previously claiming that she sits in my current top three artists, and my first time seeing her live did not disappoint. Hell, the show was better than I ever could have imagined. If you get the chance, see St. Vincent live; there’s no way you couldn’t enjoy yourself.

As for the rest of the playlist this week, we have 17 fellow tracks courtesy of artists like Tame Impala, P!nk, Sampha, and Princess Nokia.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Quiet Ferocity” by The Jungle Giants

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I’m writing this entry in the dead of November, and the bitter cold is really starting to set in. I find myself reminiscing over an album that came out last summer from hands down one of my all-time favorite indie rock bands. Quiet Ferocity by The Jungle Giants is 41 minutes straight of upbeat techno music that will make me want to get up and dance on even the dreariest of autumn days. I have much love and respect for this four-piece band from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

They proclaim in their Spotify bio that Quiet Ferocity “combines the signature melodic arrangements of their first album with the percussion-laden production of their second and catapults them into a sonic stratosphere that is entirely their own sound.” After spending a solid amount of time over the past week with this album, I honestly couldn’t agree more with this statement. With this latest release, I believe that The Jungle Giants have really hit their stride as a band and have found themselves in their music.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 11/14/17

Monday got you feeling down? Well, 1: It’s Tuesday, and 2: Jake and I have arrived with our weekly supply of new music for you to listen to and (hopefully) enjoy!

While album releases have more or less been halted as of late — except for that gargantuan, new Taylor Swift record that released this past Friday — there have been a number of stellar singles hitting the charts. With this week’s playlist, we’ve highlighted some of these new singles.

Hit play on the Jukebox below, and savor the excellent brand new sounds from Whitney, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Wombats, and Rita Ora.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Love Too Soon” by Born Ruffians

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On October 29th, Born Ruffians released a new single titled “Love Too Soon,” and I cannot be more excited to hear new music still coming from this Toronto-based indie rock band. I believe that this band has flown under the radar for a while since their formation about a decade ago, and I would love to see them eventually receive the attention they deserve. I have much love for this band from our neighbors to the North.

Their bio on Spotify sums them up pretty well when it says they “deliver a playful variety of indie rock that weaves shifting guitar patterns though spare, hooky melodies and sweet but snarky vocals.” You can get a really good sense of the diversity of their sound by listening to some of their more popular songs, such as “Hummingbird” or “Needle” off of their earlier albums.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 11/7/17

The year is quickly coming to a close, and new, exciting records are few and far between at this point. Still, even with the dwindling releases nearing the end of 2017, Jake and I have scrounged for 20 stellar tracks that you can lose yourself in.

This week’s highlights include songs from Oberhofer, GRMLN, Aly & AJ, and Kelly Clarkson, but also included are another 16 awesome cuts from indie bands and pop stars.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: Twin Peaks’ Sweet ’17 Singles Series

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A hundred years from now, when music fans look back on this decade, they will without a doubt hear the influence that Twin Peaks had among the majority of other indie bands of the 2010s. Their popularity has breached far beyond the confines of their native city of Chicago, and the band has exploded into the national spotlight with yearly nationwide tours. Twin Peaks has performed at multiple music festivals over the past few summers, including Lollapalooza and Pitchfork, just to name a couple.

This indie rock band is releasing music in an innovative way that I’ve certainly never seen before. They recently announced via their Tumbler something they call “Sweet ’17,” a Twin Peaks single series. Every month, for the rest of the year, they’re releasing two new tracks that can be found both on 7” vinyl releases, as well as on streaming services. I cannot applaud Twin Peaks enough for this creative method of putting their new stuff out there for everyone to enjoy. They began this series in June, and have followed through ever since, reliably releasing a pair of new songs on the first of each month.

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The 2017 Jet Fuel Jukebox Halloween Special

Boo! It’s Halloween, and that means that Jake and I have chosen some scary songs to fill up our special horror-themed playlist.

And let me tell you, it’s hard to pick 10 songs that are in the spirit of Halloween (especially when trying to stray from picking the same tracks from last year’s Halloween entry). But through the inclusion of horror film/TV/videogame soundtracks as well as Halloween staples, we’ve stitched together a playlist that Dr. Frankenstein surely would be proud of.

Highlighted in the 20 songs this week are cuts from John Carpenter, Dead Man’s Bones,

— Michael Slain, Blog Editor

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